He may have been killed off in the first installment, but that doesn’t mean Andy Serkis won’t be keeping a close eye on the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever as it moves through production, and ultimately hits theaters in July of next year.
The actor’s Ulysses Klaue allowed him to deliver a broad, over-the-top performance as the movie’s resident nefarious arms dealer, a role that he recently reprised with relish in Marvel’s What If…?. Even if Klaue had survived the events of Black Panther, there’s no guarantee Serkis would have even been available for the sequel given his jam-packed schedule.
The 57 year-old has his third directorial effort Venom: Let There Be Carnage coming to theaters on Friday, while Matt Reeves’ The Batman lands in March 2022. On top of that, he’s got Taika Waititi’s sports comedy Next Goal Wins, literary adaptation No One Gets Out Alive and Netflix’s Luther movie on the horizon, so free time is at a premium.
In a new interview with i09, Serkis revealed his hopes for the future of the Black Panther franchise, from Wakanda Forever and beyond.
“Wakanda as a world, as a place, as a philosophy is such an extraordinary thing. So I’m really excited to see how it evolves, how it unfolds. Obviously, it’s very, very sad in the wake of Chadwick Boseman’s departure, but I’m sure that the story will go some way to memorialize such an extraordinary performance and such an incredible actor and person in that movie.”
Danai Gurira’s Okoye is already signed to headline the spinoff series in development for Disney Plus, so the Black Panther mythology continues to expand on multiple fronts. Wakanda Forever is going to be as emotional as it is bittersweet, but Ryan Coogler and his crew will be looking to exceed the sky-high expectations.